Two studies that reveal the glaringly obvious
Reading through health studies is like fishing. Every now and then you land a beauty, but between those beauties there are dozens you have to throw back.
HSI researcher and reporter Michele Cagan recently sent me a couple of amusing throw- backs that make you wonder what kind of smooth operator you have to be to get financing for studies like these.
First up: When researchers at Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center conducted a three-year study of eldery drivers, they found that the driving skills of patients with mild dementia or Alzheimer’s “predictably declineto a level that often precludes safe driving.”
Really? It took THREE YEARS to confirm that dementia and driving are not a safe mix?
The second study also blows the lid off the glaringly obvious: When researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Italy followed five years of health records for more than 260 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, they discovered that risk of dying during the study period was quite a bit higher among patients who smoked.
Wait. There’s more: Risk of dying was even higher in smoking patients who also drank more than four alcoholic beverages each day.
Michele’s comment: “Seriously – someone send me money right now. I want to study whether kids who eat eggs also eat chicken.”
“Mild Dementia May Not Preclude Driving” Joene Hendry, Reuters Health, 4/11/08, reutershealth.com
“Smoking, Drinking Imperil Lymphoma Survival” Michele Rizzo, Reuters Health, 4/11/08, reutershealth.com